Wisconsin: Wholly owned affilliate of Koch Brothers’ EnterprisesPosted: February 23, 2011
As you probably have already heard, Walker’s budget bill includes a provision that allows the state to sell of power plants to “private entities” using no-bid contracts. Cannon argues that it’s “the California energy crisis all over again,” (i.e., Enron). Read the whole thing at Cannonfire.
Part One: In which Governor Walker gleefully answers the phone and spills the strategy.
Part Two: In which Governor Walker asks for right wing press help.
You should check out the prank call from Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Murphy posed as right-wing financier David Koch. It’s a pretty sad indictment of exactly what kind of government their money can buy.
According to the audio, Walker told him:
- That statehouse GOPers were plotting to hold Democratic senators’ pay until they returned to vote on the controversial union-busting bill.
- That Walker was looking to nail Dems on ethics violations if they took meals or lodging from union supporters.
- That he’d take “Koch” up on this offer: “[O]nce you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.”
Greg Sargent of WAPO confirms that the it actually was the Governor on the phone.
UPDATE, 11:41 a.m.: A few items of note from the call:
* Walker doesn’t bat an eye when Koch describes the opposition as “Democrat bastards.”
* Walker reveals that he and other Republicans are looking at whether they can charge an “ethics code violation if not an outright felony” if unions are paying for food or lodging for any of the Dem state senators.
* Walker says he’s sending out notices next week to some five or six thousand state workers letting them know that they are “at risk” of layoffs.
“Beautiful, beautiful,” the Koch impersonator replies. “You gotta crush that union.”
UPDATE, 11:54 a.m.: In a key detail, Walker reveals that he is, in effect, laying a trap for Wisconsin Dems. He says he is mulling inviting the Senate and Assembly Dem and GOP leaders to sit down and talk, but only if all the missing Senate Dems return to work.
Then, tellingly, he reveals that the real game plan here is that if they do return, Republicans might be able to use a procedural move to move forward with their proposal.
“If they’re actually in session for that day and they take a recess, this 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have a quorum because they started out that way,” he says. “If you heard that I was going to talk to them that would be the only reason why.”
Then the fake Koch says this: “Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.”
Walker doesn’t bat an eye, and responds: “I have one in my office, you’d be happy with that. I’ve got a slugger with my name on it.”
At least listen long enough to hear the apparent glee in Scott Walker’s voice when he believes his biggest donor is calling to check in with his war on teachers, police, firefighters, and other state workers in Wisconsin. This is the best example of a price-tagged politician that I’ve ever seen.
The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square.
Charles and David Koch, who co-own Koch Industries Inc. and whose combined worth is estimated at $43 billion, have been recently tied with Walker’s push to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers. The two have long backed conservative causes and groups including Americans for Prosperity, which organized the Tea Party rally Saturday in support of Walker’s plan to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights and recently launched the Stand with Scott Walker website.
Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, acknowledged in a New York Times story Tuesday that he had encouraged Walker even before the election to mount a showdown with labor groups.
Koch Industries, which owns the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and the Koch Pipeline Company, operates gasoline supply terminals and a toilet paper factory in Wisconsin.
Koch Companies Public Sector LLC occupies a seventh-floor suite at 10 E. Doty St. According to an unidentified tenant there, the lobbying group moved in two weeks before Walker was elected governor on November 2. Jeffrey Schoepke, the company’s regional manager, did not return a phone call seeking more information on the firm.
According to the Government Accountability Board’s website, the firm has seven lobbyists who “represent various Koch Industries Inc. companies on public affairs matters, including Flint Hills Resources, LP, an energy purchaser and refiner & transporter of petroleum and Georgia-Pacific, LLC a manufacturer of paper, wood products and building materials.” The group’s lobbying interests are listed as “the environment, energy, taxation, business, policy and other areas affecting Koch Industries, Inc. companies.”
There’s some more information on the Koch Trust Fund Babies and the role of their money in Wisconsin in a NYT article from Monday (h/t to Ginger).
State records also show that Koch Industries, their energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who has championed the proposed cuts.
Even before the new governor was sworn in last month, executives from the Koch-backed group had worked behind the scenes to try to encourage a union showdown, Mr. Phillips said in an interview on Monday.
We are so f’d.